Seoul's working population to fall 1M by 2032

Posted at 11/28/2012 2:09 PM | Updated as of 11/28/2012 2:09 PM

SEOUL - South Korea's capital stands to lose one million people of working age over the next 20 years -- a fallout from the country's status as one of the world's most rapidly ageing societies.

According to statistics released this week by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the city's working population will fall from the current 7.64 million to 6.56 million by 2032.

The number of residents over the age of 65 will more than double from 1.03 million to 2.6 million over the same period.

After years of promoting family planning in a crowded nation of 50 million, South Korea has become increasingly alarmed by its ageing society, which threatens a huge pensions bill and too few workers to sustain economic growth.

The total fertility rate -- the average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime -- stood at just 1.01 in 2011, compared to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 1.71.

The government has implemented numerous plans to boost low birth rates, including the provision of protected maternity leave.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse